Peavey is an innovator in the modeling space. Their first Vypyr amp came out in 2008, and contained many industry-firsts, including built-in USB, emulated effects, and analogy/digital hybrid modeling. We’re looking at the Peavey Viper X2 in this review — a powerful multi-instrument amplifier continuing the brand’s legacy of innovation.
Tired of Having to Haul Around Multiple Amps for Your Axes?
Many musicians have several gigs that they juggle at any given time. That can always include playing electric guitar in one group, bass in another, and acoustic guitar in either or both. In the case of a guitarist who handles both acoustic and electric roles for one band, that would normally require a separate amp for both instruments.
As any modeler worth its salt, the Peavey Vypyr X2 solves that problem. With a Variable Instrument Input, you can choose the source you’re plugging in and have the amp intuitively respond to the selected input. That’s one unique feature of this combo amp which sets it apart from others in its class. And it still has more to give.
The Peavey Vypyr X2 Is a Warm and Versatile All-Around Combo
The X2, as mentioned, is versatile right from the input stage. It goes further to offer 36 amp models, a total of 26 effects (up to five simultaneously), and even 10 emulated instrument modes to make your electric sound like an acoustic, for example.
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In addition, it includes Peavey’s own TransTube analog distortion — this leaves digital processing power for effects, but also replaces the oftentimes cruddy sounding digital distortion found in modelers and solid-state amplifiers.
Peavey Vypyr X2 Review: How Does It Sound?
Specs & Design
The Vypyr comes with a single custom-designed 12″ speaker, pushing 60 watts, in a traditional combo amp-sized package weighing 26 pounds. Three large push-rotary encoders help you swap between instrument models, amps, and effects, while smaller ones offer access to pre- and post-gain, a three band EQ, as well as push-rotary control of various effect parameters.
The amp also includes an auxiliary input, headphone output, onboard USB, and Bluetooth for wireless remote control and audio input for jamming along to tracks. It sounds like a lot, but the layout is surprisingly easy to use. Additionally, it’s very legible, particularly on a dimly lit stage, due to LEDs on every encoder.
Tube-Like Tone in a Combo Amp
TransTube technology is to thank for the amp’s “lifelike” and realistic sound. That’s always been a drawback to amp modeling and emulation — lackluster sound and feel compared to the real deal — even as simulations get better and better every year.
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Peavey’s proprietary development seeks to remedy that issue, for a tube-like experience in a hybrid analog/digital combo amp.
Choose Between 36 Amp Models
Technically, there are 12 different amps, each with three gain settings. With an amp selected, you push the encoder to swap between high gain (red LED), medium gain (yellow), and clean (green). Included are two acoustic amps and two bass amps, with a similar three-step gain structure.
That’s plenty of variety, and with the inclusion of effects, you can dial in a ton of different sounds.
How Does It Sound
The Vypyr X2 sounds surprisingly authentic for a modeling amplifier, specifically one at this price. That’s arguably where it has so many competitors beat. Modeling is everywhere these days, and the whole “plethora of amps/effects” thing is hardly a selling point anymore — it’s the standard.
The Peavey excels for a modeling combo that’s just $299 (at the time of writing). The multi-instrument input is a nice touch, but you can find similar ability to model for acoustic/electric guitar and bass in other gear. Peavey’s winning formula is to produce these high-quality analog/digital hybrid modelers at a price anyone can afford.
Tonal variety ranges from everything to a spacey 12-string acoustic to full-on Van Halen brown sound — and obviously loads more. And it’s all quite convincing!
Who Would Appreciate the Peavey Vypyr X2?
A gigging musician who needs the versatility of the Peavey, but doesn’t want to spend thousands on an alternative rig, would definitely make the most of the Vypyr X2. As a practice amp it would be excellent as well, giving you a whole ton of flexibility while your main rig stays the rehearsal space.
It’s also just cool to have a tone chameleon in a plug-and-play combo, regardless of whether it’s for playing live or just jamming on the couch. For the money, it’s a beast.
Conclusion: The Peavey Vypyr X2 Offers Game-Changing Flexibility for Musicians On the Go
Home practice, rehearsal, gigging…the Vypyr is flexible enough to handle it all. You can always take the USB out to a computer for direct recording, too. Again, there are a massive number of options out there when it comes to modelers and modeling amplifiers. That said, the Vypyr X2 gets a lot of things right, and is absolutely worthy of consideration.